ASBURY PARK, NJ-After years of false starts, this downtrodden oceanfront city’s redevelopment is suddenly in very high gear. Less than two months ago, the city signed a formal redeveloper’s agreement with the Lakewood, NJ-based Asbury Partners for a 56-acre oceanfront tract, and late last month Cushman & Wakefield signed on as exclusive leasing agent for the project’s 450,000-sf retail component.

Now, Asbury Partners has unveiled its developers of choice for initial phases of residential development within Oceanfront Asbury, as the project is called, and they are indeed high profile names: Kushner Cos., K. Hovnanian and Paramount Homes. Under its agreement with Asbury Partners, the city council still has to approve the trio; the early read is that little difficulty is anticipated.

The Florham Park, NJ-based Kushner has signed a contract to serve as sub-developer for 155 residential units plus a retail component in the first phase of the project’s Wesley Lake District, which will eventually total 700 residential units. The Jackson, NJ-based Paramount, meanwhile, will focus on building 351 units on two parcels ultimately slated for almost 850 units. And the Red Bank, NJ-based Hovnanian will develop 275 units in the tract’s Ocean Beach neighborhood.

“Oceanfront Asbury is an outstanding opportunity for developers,” says Jeffrey Freireich, vice chairman and managing partner at Kushner. “Our plans combine townhouses, flats and first-floor retail, and we look forward to presenting the details to the planning board.”

“Our portion of the project will blend residences with lifestyle amenities,” adds Jeffrey Fernbach, a principal with Paramount. “It will be complemented by the cultural and recreational benefits of Asbury Park.”

“We hope to build homes that will lend character and value to the area,” says Joe Riggs, Hovnanian’s regional head. “We are in the preliminary stages of the project and will announce specifics later.”

Besides the 450,000-sf retail component, the massive project is expected to total more than 3,000 residential units, hotels and a variety of entertainment and recreational venues at build-out. Under a prior agreement with the state, the three parcels that would be developed by Kushner, Hovnanian and Paramount are “fast-tracked” from a permitting and approval standpoint.

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